Monday, January 26, 2009

Vendor Spotlight - Becker Photography

Posted by Holly-Kate Foss

There is nothing better than coffee, art and friends!

I had the opportunity over the weekend to meet Ben Becker at Cafe Fiore on Queen Anne for a cup of coffee. Ben and his wife, Lin, are such a joy to be around, we had the chance to work together twice last summer. Not only does Becker Photography have a way of making a bride and groom feel comfortable in front of the lens, they are also creative at capturing the unique flavor of each available surrounding. They have a complimentary style that they bring to the Seattle wedding scene and they would be a great selection for any couple.

I hope to work with them again this year -

Vendor Spotlight - Scott and Tem Photography

Posted by Kelly Simants

I have recently had the pleasure of meeting some awesome Photographers in Dallas, and one husband and wife team in particular named Scott and Tem really stood out to me! They are not only very talented photojournalists, but they are passionate about the wedding industry and love what they do! Plus, they are just fun people to chat with as they are so friendly, energetic, and have a great sense of humor. :) The images in this post are just a few of their favorites from their portfolio. You can see they not only bring their sense of humor into the wedding day, but they also capture the romance and beauty of weddings in such a natural way that truly tells a story. I asked them a few questions about their successful business and Dallas weddings - here's who they are and what they have to say...

1. How did you get started in the Photography business, and specifically with weddings?

Well, they really coincide. We got into weddings and the business pretty much at the same time, although our photography backgrounds started much earlier. Tem’s background goes back to her childhood with her learning photography from a family friend at church. My background with serious photography started in high school where apart from being on the school newspaper as a photographer, I always shot punk rock bands, and skateboarding which helped me get a grasp on action and cruddy lighting from an early start.

While working in the corporate cubicle world, we started shooting heavily as a hobby and rediscovered our love for photography. Around that time, close friends of ours who were planning their wedding saw our hobby work and liked it enough to ask us to shoot the wedding.

Tem did double duty as photographer and matron of honor. After all was said and done, we had shot the best photos of people we had ever done at that point, and had a blast doing it. That sealed the deal and started us on our path. The following year I was already full time and we were on our way.

2. What is your typical day like as a Wedding Photographer – on the day of the wedding, and also on a non-wedding day?

Non wedding days start out with us firing up the computers and checking email. Oddly enough email alone can consume a large portion of each day, with sometimes hours at a time spent just responding to email.

Then typically our days consist of one of the following processes in the post production of the images. We both have different tasks we work on during a day, and Tem typically does all of our album layout design, and fulfills prints orders, in addition to editing images. For the image editing portion of our work (sometimes taking a couple of days depending on the content of the wedding), we start to go through the thousands of images shot on a wedding day, or hundreds from a portrait session, and begin editing them down, weeding out bad expressions, or redundant scenes, etc. Once we get the story of the day edited, we then move on to our color process for the RAW image files, where we apply our own color settings, and tweak any exposure and lighting issues for the photos. Finally after converting RAW files to JPEGs, we then run a few more custom tweaks to give our images that final pop in color, and begin the processes of getting everything online.

Our wedding days start the previous day usually with us preparing all of our camera gear. We charge batteries, clean cameras and lenses, and sort and organize everything we need. On the actual day we start with a decent breakfast, and then plan our travel routes. I usually check over the car for tire pressures, and load everything up. Once we get to a wedding location, we’re ready to capture whatever comes our way. After the wedding, we get home and immediately start the download and back-up process for all of the images shot for the day. Once everything is downloaded and securely backed up, we usually just lapse into a pretty deep sleep.

3. What would you say makes your style or personality unique from other Photographers?

The easy answer is that we’re just individual… different by nature’s law and that gives us a naturally unique perspective on things. Really, I think it comes down to our personalities, and our own journey as husband and wife that makes us different from others. Even between the two of us, we can be sitting in the same room, looking at the same subject, and come back with completely different images and takes on the moment. We’re also a bit of the goofball, and love to find humor in the little things. I think we also gravitate toward high energy and happy people, which of course influences how we feel when we shoot, and ultimately what kinds of images we capture. We’re sunshine lovers, so I guess in some odd way, that sums us up.

4. Favorite tips or advice for the bride and grooms to be?

Really, just enjoy the wedding day! Plain and simple. On the wedding day, all the plans and preparations, friends and family, all culminate in one day there to celebrate your union as husband and wife. Enjoy it… just be in the moment where you are together with everyone who loves you all around you. The memories and moments on the day last forever in your heart and minds.

5. When you aren’t working, what are some of your favorite things to do?

If we can, we like to travel, go to the movies, hang out with friends, do something outdoors, and for me personally…anything car related. I like to go to the track any chance I get.

6. What are some of your favorite venues in the DFW area, and why?

Tough Question… For churches, Christ the King and St Thomas Aquinas come to mind. The churches are beautiful, and the staff is usually very friendly and helpful to us in the way that they care about us getting great shots for our couples. Marie Gabrielle is quite an awesome place for both wedding and reception. Not to mention, the food is pretty much the bomb. ^_^

Some others off the top of my head; Arlington Hall, Belo Mansion, Hickory Street Annex. We’d also love to shoot at Story Book Ranch and the McKinney Cotton Mill sometime.
Thank you, Scott and Tem, for sharing about yourselves and your work! Here are a few more of their favorite images in their collection...

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Free Marriage and Relationship Workshops in Texas

Posted by Kelly Simants

I recently met with Katie Anderson of a non-profit organization called Anthem, which offers free marriage and relationship workshops to engaged and married couples. Anthem partners with an initiative called TwoGether in Texas, a state funded program to help lower the divorce rate and promote healthy marriage.

There is a really cool benefit if you take one of these free workshops - couples seeking a marriage license who participate in one of these free 8 hour relationship education courses, will have the $60 state marriage license fee waived and the 72-hour waiting period waived! Click here for a list of upcoming classes.
Anthem is also hosting an event on February 10th where a small panel of happily married couples will be getting together to share their stories and secrets for a lifetime of marital bliss. The event is free and includes complimentary drinks. See info below and RSVP to if you'd like to attend!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Weekend Bridal Events in Dallas - January & February

Image by Jeff LaPlante

January and February are hot months in the wedding industry as there are so many newly engaged couples...congratulations to you if you are recently engaged!! There are lots of events that brides-to-be can take advantage of! Here are just a few of the upcoming local Dallas bridal events you can look forward to:

  • January 22nd - 26th - Priscilla of Boston Trunk Show will be held at their Dallas location on 4000 Villanova St.
  • January 24-25th - The Dallas Bridal Show will be held at the Dallas Market Center from 10 am - 6 pm both days. Celebrating its 20th year in the show, there will be over 350 fabulous wedding vendors (making it one of the largest Dallas bridal shows of the year) and lots of fun door prizes!
  • January 30th - Reem Acra Trunk Show at Neiman Marcus in Dallas from 10 am - 6 pm.
  • February 8-9th - Sample Sale Clear Out on all sample gowns at Blush Couture
  • February 21st - The Dallas Paper Source at North Park Center in Dallas (and all Paper Source locations) will be sharing complimentary wedding invitation demos and showcasing unique tablescape ideas. You'll be able to make your own sample invitations and be inspired!
  • February 21-22nd - The Fort Worth Bridal Show will be held at the Amon Carter Exhibit Hall from 11 am - 4 pm both days. This is the 9th year this bridal show will be held, and showcases over 100 wonderful vendors.
  • February 27th - Monique Lhuillier Trunk Show at Neiman Marcus in Dallas from 10 am - 6 pm.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Congratulations Rashada and Scott!

Posted by Kelly Simants

A few months before their wedding, Rashada called us and needed help to pull all of the last minute details of her wedding together. She still needed help with the décor elements, rental procurement, menu selection, and creating a timeline for the entire celebration. So, we went to work and quickly finalized all of the necessary details to create the vision she wanted – a hip, urban, chic wedding. She also wanted guests to feel like they were at a cocktail party instead of a formal sit-down reception, so we brought in soft seating from Rented Elegance, varied the height and sizes of tables throughout the room, and used a bit of up-lighting to help create this ambiance. Pravda Studios was the perfect venue for this cocktail party, as it’s a wonderful loft space that is a blank canvas to work with! The Jason Parker Quartet provided amazing jazz throughout the evening - he and his whole team are a blast to work with! All of these images are the work of the super talented Janet Klinger, who captured some awesome urban shots throughout the day!

A fun fact about the couple - Rashada is a Nurse and Scott is in Construction, and they met while doing mission work in Mississippi. So, they truly know what it means to serve others, and you can tell from the way they treat each other that they are two of the most selfless people and are already off to a great start to their marriage! It was a joy to be a part of their wedding and we wish them all the best!

The sweet Ring Bearer wanted a swipe of that cake so badly! :)

Jason Parker of the incredible Jason Parker Quartet

Post Alley in Seattle

Well wishes for the Bride & Groom

Rashada's Maid of Honor had a bouquet, and all of the other bridesmaids carried candles...super romantic!

Scott and Rashada "Jumping the Broom" after they are pronounced husband and wife! The broom on the ground symbolizes the couple's new home together. Jumping the broom symbolizes the sweeping away of the past and the jumping into a new beginning!

Their Pastor, Allen Belton, was invited by the Jason Parker Quartet to sing with them - this was a highlight of the evening as he had so much fun and all of the guests were cheering him on!

Fabulous Vendors Rashada and Scott Selected:

Ceremony and Reception Venue: Pravda Studios
Catering: Seasoned in Seattle
Décor: Soft Seating from Rented Elegance; Lanterns and Fabric Draping from Chic Celebrations
Florist: Personal Friend of Rashada’s
Bridal Gown: Marcella’s La Boutique
Honeymoon Suite: Pan Pacific Hotel
Jazz Quartet: Jason Parker Quartet
Hair and Makeup: Gene Juarez
Officiant: Allen Belton from University Presbyterian Church
Photographer: Janet Klinger Photography
Rehearsal Dinner: Piatti
Cake: Personal Friend of Rashada’s

Monday, January 12, 2009

Delicious Day-Of Treats for You & Your Wedding Party!

When we review the Day-Of Timeline with our couples, one thing we always want to make sure is that food and beverages are provided throughout the day - for not only the Bride & Groom, but also their wedding party. This is often a major detail often overlooked and is so important for keeping everyone well hydrated and energized to make it through all of the getting ready time, pre-wedding photography, etc.

The girls from Marrylicious have a perfect solution to keep the wedding party going! They provide beautiful boxes of gourmet treats like Beecher cheese, Nunes Farm almonds, Belle Epicurean croissants, bite sized Sweet Miniature cookies, sparkling water, and more. The best part is these goodies are all wrapped up beautifully in Midori packaging and are perfect for a wedding day celebration! They offer several packages to choose from and also love customizing packages if you have special requests.

Congratulations Kim and Dan!

Posted by Kelly Simants

It was a perfect Seattle day for a wedding at the Seattle Tennis Club – temperatures were in the mid 70’s, there was a light breeze in the air, and Mt. Rainier was as clear as could be and made for a perfect backdrop for the ceremony setting!

Kim and Dan were such a sweet couple, and so in love! They have a great story about how they met, too…Kim is a Recruiter and interviewed Dan for a job, which he ended up turning down (much to Kim’s dismay)! However, being the successful Recruiter that she is, Kim somehow managed to track him down again and learned he was interested in a new job so she got in touch with him and the rest is history! :)

The fabulous Jennifer and Scott Matsuda from Red Fish Blue Fish Photography captured these images from this romantic day and were fantastic to work with! Kim and Dan chose amazing vendors from their wedding including a delicious cake from Crème de la Crème, Sean from Seattle Parties who kept the party going all night long (guests didn’t want to leave!!), and beautiful flowers from Colleen Monette. For a complete list of all of vendors , see the end of this blog posting. Enjoy!

Kim's "something blue" were her new initials on the bottom of her shoes!

Guests received dog shaped cookies for favors, and Kim and Dan made a donation to an animal shelter in honor of their wedding.

Stunning view of Mt. Rainier directly behind the ceremony site!

Kim and Dan's dog Meika was the Ring Bearer! :)

Their sweet flower girl

These are photos of Kim and Dan when they were young - we hung these trees on the escort card table and guests loved seeing the cute pictures of them through the years.

Glow sticks were a fun non-traditional way to send the couple off at the end of the evening!
Wonderful Vendors They Selected:

Ceremony and Reception Venue: Seattle Tennis Club
Catering: Seattle Tennis Club
Cake: Crème de la Crème
DJ: Sean from Seattle Parties
Favors: Cookies with a donation to “A Paw Up” Animal Rescue Shelter!
Florist: Colleen Monette
Officiant: Pat from A Heavenly Ceremony
Hair: Gene Juarez
Photographer: Red Fish Blue Fish Photography
Bridal Gown: I Do Bridal
Bridesmaids Dresses: I Do Bridal
Transportation: British Motor Coach